--Richard E. Vatz
The Republican Favorite-of-the-Month Club (not to be confused with late heavyweight champion Joe Louis' "Bum-of-the-Month Club" at the end of the 1930s and the beginning of the 1940s) persists with the current spotlight on former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. He was preceded by major paroxysms of support for Rick Perry (is this the season for "Ricks"? I am ready to serve), Newt Gingrich, and some even say, per the Iowa caucuses, Ron Paul. When the hyperactive but uninformed Republican electorate becomes informed that these rising stars have policy and/or electoral feet of clay, it goes on to the newest unvetted rising star.
But it's time to get serious. The Republican Whack-a-Mole game must end.
There are but two main issues respecting which candidate should be the Republican nominee for president to replace the rhetorically gifted but policy judgment-challenged President Barack Obama: who is most competent and who has the best chance to win. This perspective is simply an iteration and application of the late William F. Buckley's perspicacious, pithy criterion of the need to choose the best electable conservative.
Mitt Romney is that individual and earns this writer's endorsement for the Republican nomination for president. (This is not a Red Maryland endorsement, only one of their blogger's.)
Romney is the most substantively prepared Republican candidate. As evidenced by the series of candidate debates, he understands that the Democratic "Entitlement Presidency" is the road to devastating economic Europeanism. He knows that pitting Americans against one another is the blueprint for creating insoluble national problems. His business background gives a shot-in-the-arm of economic expertise now missing in the presidency.
He abjures the passive acceptance of the Obama Administration toward Iran's nuclear weapon acquisition program. He knows that when you introduce troops into foreign territory for critical national interest and/or moral reasons that the announcing of a premature "exit strategy" is a guarantor of long-term failure.
Have I hesitations regarding supporting Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination? Yes, there are no perfect candidates. Romney's health care program in Massachusetts and changes of position cause some concern, but his changes appear to be either reasonable or concessions he found necessary to be elected as Massachusetts' governor. Even unquestionably conservative Ann Coulter supports Mitt Romney’s candidacy.
There will always be naïve single-issue voters or those allowing the perfect to be the enemy of the good who will carp about any excellent candidate's imperfection. Tell me historically any consensually great president who had no significant weakness. President Abraham Lincoln suspended the right to writs of habeas corpus. FDR tried to pack the Supreme Court. The divorced Ronald Reagan brought problems for his first term candidacy, and his quitting Lebanon and poor presidential debate performance in 1984 brought head-shaking to that election cycle. There are no exceptions to the "Imperfect Presidential Candidate Rule."
Count this as one bottom-line, enthusiastic statement of support for Mitt Romney as the Republican presidential candidate. As another imperfect Republican principal used to say, "Experience Counts," and, adding his substantive superiority, Mitt Romney, per the Buckley admonition, is clearly the best electable conservative for president in 2012.
Professor Vatz teaches political rhetoric at Towson University and is author of the new book The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion (Kendall Hunt, 2012)
Friday, December 30, 2011
--Richard E. Vatz